You Can’t Be a Nerd Until…

For this Techie Saturday I want to give you a little history of the Windows/Mac battles that resulted in the computers we have today. You can’t be an official nerd until you know about it and have picked a side in this never ending battle. So, here goes, a complete history in 500 words or less. 🙂

Typical MSDOS screen

My history with personal computers started out with a TRS-80 which was neither Windows nor Mac (Apple) but pretty quickly moved on to Microsoft MSDOS system as that is what my job required. There was no mouse on Microsoft based machines back then, everything had to be entered with a keypad. Since they were so closely linked to IBM, there were no pictures, everything was spreadsheets and text only. You had to spend hundreds of hours learning every imaginable code to get them to work.

Mac – It was crude but at least it was point and click.

But then a little start-up company named Apple introduced the Macintosh computer and its Graphical User Interface (GUI) which included a strange little box called a mouse. The original Macs was all black/white, but within a few years everything was in color. To control a Mac you didn’t really have to know anything about how it worked in the background. It didn’t matter that you didn’t know such things like if your file was on the C: or D: drive.

The basic mentality of these competing machines was drastically different. Windows/MSDOS was purely a business machine. Whereas the Mac was about being ease-of-use and creativity. When the picture based GUI started to become very popular, Microsoft copied the Apple and came out with their Windows system with a mouse. They have been following Apple innovations since that day.

There was also a very basic difference for our nerd side is that Microsoft released their root software code and Apple kept their’s under lock and key. Giving out their source code allowed more people to develop their own apps but it also allow the hacker to put out the viruses.

I have been exclusively Mac for about 20 years now and have never had virus software or viruses on any of my machines. Windows has moved a long way in the user friendly area but they still lag in the Windows/Mac competition as far as I am concerned.

Of course now that iPhones are so dominant, Macs have become even more popular as they freely integrate together. iPads and Apple watches round out the Apple product integration. Everything works seamlessly, well almost seamlessly.

So, my personal unbiased opinion 🙂 is that Mac is a much more user friendly machine for my purposes. I know they are more expensive but I am willing to fork over some extra dollars so I don’t have to fret over all the stuff below the surface. Steve Jobs called Windows a “giant hairball” and in my opinion it still is.

Setting The Foundation For Techie Saturday

Here we are at a new Saturday and a new category here at RJsCorner. So, I thought I would use this first post to tell you why I chose this topic. The general view of us senior citizens is that we resist change, particularly things technology related. It is perceived that most of us don’t have cell phones and we have no idea how to use computers. Lord forbid trying to get us to understand how automated home systems work!

To that view of us, I say “BUNK”. Yeah, I admit that some of us might fit that description, one of them is occupying the house with me, but there are many of us who are still in the learning mode and willing to tackle something new every day. We might not seek out the very latest technology thing but we don’t shun them when we see how they might improve our lives.

Getting back to this new “Techie Saturday” explanation, I am going to give you a weekly lesson on the tools and apps that might improve your life, or at least give you have some idea what your kids and grandkids are talking about.

What makes me qualified to be your techie guru? Over the years I have had more Apple computers than I can even count. I will also quietly admit that there were a few years in there that I was, due to a corporate edict, a Windows guy but my heart and loyalty remains Apple. I am on my 6th cell phone. I played around with Android but finally went to an iPhone and never looked back. iPads are constantly by my side to jot down notes for post ideas or to just ask Siri a question that popped up in my mind. I had to wait until I was almost forty for the PC/Mac to be invented. After it was, I spent hours and hours programming my first computer, which was a TRS-80, to control the lights in my bachelor pad apartment. From the get-go, I totally immersed myself in the techie world.

Because I am deaf, I might not be up to par on music things and social media is to some degree still somewhat unexplored for me, but for the rest of it I keep up with the daily news and read a couple computer magazines every month.

Ending this initial post, come back on Saturdays with your questions and your learning hat on. I’m sure there are even some of you out there who can school me on some of these topics. I actually look forward to that. 🙂